The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association, a 501.c.3 organization.
The American Chuck Wagon Association started out as a small group of Old West enthusiasts and has expanded to world wide association preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events and other venues.
Our work is funded by sponsorships (see the power point presentation shown below-right); tax-free donations, honorariums and memorials
(We are a 501.c.3 organization);
cookbook, note card, t-shirt & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping), as well as membership dues.
For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check to:
ACWA, 1723 East Tate Street, Brownfield, TX 79316 or call Nancy Sparks at (806)215-7851 with credit card information. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and address for a thank you card.
Our youth are our future and the ACWA supports activities directly involving them. We encourage producers to offer youth
competition at their cook offs whenever possible. Many of our cooking crews include young people at the cook offs.
The Association also periodically honors an outstanding young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.
In addition, the ACWA offers scholarships (read more) to selected individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Caleb Swanson from Canton, SD, and Chelsea Carter from Prairie Hill, TX. One of our recipients recently sent an update you may read here.
Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At one cook off, invitations were given to area schools to come on Friday. There were busloads coming and going a good portion of the day. The students were wonderful and the three host wagons enjoyed sharing their camps and telling a little about the history of the chuck wagon and the trail drives.
Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks, beautiful note cards and caps!
Many of our members offer catering services. Check out the link above to contact one of them about bringing some of the finest chuck wagon cooking to your next event.
Well, first I would like to start out by saying "Thanks" for the opportunity to serve as your President in 2016. Maribeth and I have enjoyed attending many of the various cook offs, Cowboys for Heroes, Wagons for Warriors and the Rendevous in Bennett, Colorado. We have seen many old friends along with making many new friends. To be associated with an organization of great people who all believe in preserving the tradition of the chuck wagon and the trail drive era, you could not ask for a better group of people to be around.
Next I would like to say thanks for the honor of being elected to serve as your President in 2017. If you missed the Annual Meeting at Express Clydesdales in Yukon, Oklahoma you missed a great time. Words really cannot describe the nice facility, the generosity of all the Express employees, and just being around those 2000+ pound gentle giants. Glad I don't have to feed 35 of them every day!
There is one more sanctioned cook off left in 2016. The Arizona National Livestock Show Chuck Wagon Cook Off in Phoenix, AZ will be on December 30th. This completes 11 sanctioned cook offs with over 30 wagons qualifying for the first ACWA Championship Cook Off.
I believe 2017 will be a great year as we enter into the second year of sanctioned cook offs along with the first ACWA Championship Cook Off being held in Fredericksburg Texas March 30 - April 2, 2017. Hopefully there will be a couple more sanctioned cook offs. ACWA has been contacted by three different groups interested in having sanctioned cook offs in 2017.
There is discussion on what can be done to get more youth cook offs held in conjunction with not only the sanctioned cook offs, but at any cook off. In 2016 there were five youth cook offs in which ACWA helped sponsor the event with 65-70 youths participating. Wouldn't it be nice if the number of youth events were to double or even triple in 2017? As an association, we have to look at ways to get the next generation interested and involved in carrying on the mission statement of ACWA - to preserve the history of the Chuck Wagon Era by providing educational opportunities and events to diverse audiences of all ages while continuing to provide youth scholarships and support for wounded warriors. More youth cook offs could be one of the answers.
Another thing I believe ACWA needs to do is to better advertise the association, This could possibly be through simple little items such as the lapel pins we use to get with our membership or an ACWA decal you could put on your vehicle or trailer. You see these things with other associations or organizations so why shouldn't ACWA try it? Something this small or simple could be the spark to have someone ask about ACWA and what it stands for. This could open the door to explain what all ACWA does and possibly generate an interest for them to become a member.
ACWA gives two scholarship each year to deserving graduating seniors. In the past two years there was only one person applied in 2015, and two in 2016. Is this because we are not doing a very good job of getting the word out, especially to our membership? With approximately 400 members, there has to be more than two members' children or grandchildren that could use a little financial assistance toward college expenses. In conversation with Brian Frankum, the 2017 chairperson of the Scholarship, Education, Youth Cook Off Committee, wouldn't it be nice to have 10-15 scholarship applications in 2017. It would make the committee's job a little harder, but it would be a nice problem to have.
If you are interested in the trail drive era along with the mystique of the chuck wagon please check out our website! If you want to become a member of this fine association, simply click on the Member tab, fill out an application and join us!
"Don't stop when you're tired. STOP when you are DONE"--Unknown
My hope is for everyone to have safe travels during the holidays.
Merry Christmas to All!
2016/2017 ACWA President
In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an
association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle
drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operationwere adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and
running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and France.
In 2016, the original mission statement was revised and Sanctioning was approved. The revised mission statement reads as follows:
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is to preserve the history of the Chuck Wagon Era by providing educational opportunities and events to diverse audiences of all ages while continuing to provide youth scholarships and support for wounded warriors.
Sanctioning information and forms can be found here.
Check out the Chuck Wagon Food Safety brochure here.
A big THANK YOU to Sheryl and Rex Wailes for their great hospitality at the Rendezvous. Around 40 people attended throughout the weekend. A good time was had by all.